President Social Impact and Philanthropy, Sesame Workshop
United States of America
Sherrie Westin is President of Social Impact and Philanthropy for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. She leads the Workshop’s efforts to serve vulnerable children through mass media and targeted initiatives in the United States and around the world. Westin serves as Sesame Workshop’s chief mission ambassador, raising awareness, developing strategic partnerships, and cultivating philanthropic support to further the Workshop’s mission to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.
Westin spearheaded a partnership to create the largest early childhood intervention in the history of humanitarian response, bringing critical education and nurturing care to refugee children in the Syrian response region. Working with the International Rescue Committee, she led Sesame Workshop’s efforts to compete for and win a historic $100 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation to fund this work. With an additional 100M grant from The LEGO Foundation, this initiative has expanded to Bangladesh. She also oversees Sesame Street in Communities, Sesame’s comprehensive initiative designed to give children the tools they need to overcome traumatic experiences.
Westin was named a “Leading Global Thinker” by Foreign Policy Magazine and one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” and was recognized with the Smithsonian’s “American Ingenuity Award”. A staunch advocate for addressing children’s needs, she regularly appears on major media outlets with Sesame Street’s iconic Muppets promoting Sesame’s social impact initiatives around the world.
Westin has held leadership positions in media, nonprofit, and public service. She was Assistant to the President for Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs for President George H.W. Bush, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and held senior positions at the ABC Television Network and U.S. News & World Report.
Westin serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Communities in Schools and Vital Voices. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council, and the Early Childhood Peace Consortium Advisory Board.
Westin is a graduate of the University of Virginia and holds an Honorary Doctorate from Concordia College in New York. She lives in Bronxville, New York with her husband David and her children, Lily and David.